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27.10.2020

Town Hall Square, Copenhagen

Town Hall Square is a city square in the center of Copenhagen, Denmark, located opposite the Copenhagen City Hall. Its large size, central location and connection to the city hall make it a popular place for various events, celebrations and demonstrations. It is often used as a central point for measuring distances from Copenhagen.

Town Hall Square is located at the southwest end of Stroget pedestrian street, which connects it with Kongens Nytorv, another large square in the city center, passing along the path Gammeltorv / Nytorv and Amagertorv . Opposite Stroghet Vesterbrogad stretches into the Vesterbro area, and then crosses the border with Fredericksberg. HC Andersens Boulevard, the busiest street in Copenhagen, and Westerbrogade pass by the square on either side of the city hall.

In addition to City Hall, notable buildings around the square include Politikens Hus , the headquarters of the national daily newspaper Politiken , and Industriens Hus , the headquarters of DI .

The Town Hall Square is located on the site of the old Copenhagen Hay Market and the Western City Gate with its surrounding fortifications.

When the fortifications were dismantled in the 1850s, it was decided to use the free land for the exhibition area, which first hosted the 1872 Northern Exhibition and then the 1888 Northern Exhibition.

Wilhelm Klein designed the exhibition building for the first exhibition, which was built on the corner of Passage Vesterbro, which was built from 1870 to 1872. The four-winged, two-storey building was constructed of red brick according to a design inspired by the Italian Renaissance. In 1879 the complex center was rebuilt into a large exhibition hall with a dome.

On January 1, 1888, the hay market moved to a new location outside of Codbien, the new cattle and meat market that opened in 1878. In his honor, the place is still called Halmtorvet. The main venue of the Scandinavian Exhibition of 1888 was a large wooden structure topped with a huge dome with a flagpole on top. Its architect was a young and unknown Martin Nurop, who later also designed a new town hall.

In 1880s, plans to build a new town hall on the territory were conceived, and in 1888, the exhibition area was cleared. In early 1889, an architectural competition was held. In addition to Nurope, who won the competition, among the participating architects were Wilhelm Dalerap and Waldemar Koch. The design of the town hall was largely inspired by the Palazzo Publico in Siena, Italy, and the design of the square was accordingly modelled on the Piazza del Campo in the form of a shell outside this building.

On July 28, 1894, the first stone was laid. When it was opened in 1905, the square in front of it became one of the most central and important spaces of the city.

The square was renovated in 1995 and 1996 by KHR Architects on the occasion that Copenhagen became the European Capital of Culture. The intersecting street leading from Vesterbrogada to Stroghet was removed, combining the two sides of the square. The bus junction was built on the north side of the square.

In 2010, work began on this section of the metro station, which required a serious reorganization of the site, the work was opened on September 29, 2019.

The sculptures are located on the square:

  • Fountain of the Dragon, depicting a bull and a dragon in battle. The building, designed by Thorwald Bindesböll and Joachim Skovgaard, was opened in 1904.
  • The "Weather Girl" is located high in the Richs Building on the corner of Rådhuspladsen and Vesterbrogade. It is a gilded sculptural group telling the weather . One sculpture spins forward, depicting a girl with a bike. When the weather gets rainy, another sculpture turns forward, depicting her with an umbrella walking with a dog. The 1936 sculptural group designed by Einar Utzon-Frank .
  • Lur Blowers is a bronze image of two Lur blowers, standing on top of the column on tiles. Its height is 20 m. It was created in 1911-1913 by Siegfried Wagner.
  • On the square is a statue of Hans Christian Andersen.

The central area is 9800 m². It is often the venue for demonstrations and street musicians, and there are several bars and nightclubs nearby. In Rådhuspladsen is also one of the main bus stations of the city.

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